CANET-EN-ROUSILLON, France – Four-time Olympic medallist Penny Oleksiak won the gold medal on Wednesday in the women’s 50-metre butterfly to add to her silver at the second stop on the Mare Nostrum swimming circuit.
The victory capped a seven-medal performance for the Canadian team in one of their final tune-ups for the world championships next month in South Korea.
The 18-year-old Oleksiak clocked a season’s best 26.05 seconds in her win with Béryl Gastaldello of France second in 26.15 and Arina Surkova of Russia third in 26.17.
‘’It was an important win for Penny tonight,’’ said Ben Titley, head coach at the High Performance Centre Ontario. ‘’She is right on track in her preparations for worlds.’’
Also on Wednesday, silver medals were earned by Mack Darragh of Oakville, Ont., in the men’s 200-m butterfly and Kierra Smith of Kelowna, B.C. in the 200-m breaststroke (2:24.92). Taylor Ruck of Kelowna added a bronze in the women’s 100-m backstroke in 1:00.18 edging Kayla Sanchez of Toronto in fourth in 1:00.68.
Daiya Seto of Japan won the men’s 200 fly in 1:56.25 with Darragh second in 1:57.89 and Luiz-Altimir Melo of Brazil third in 1:58.85.
‘’That was my best time while in training so I coudn’t be happier at this point,’’ said Darragh, 25. ‘’There were some new things I was trying out in training to hold my technique and I have to say it was a success..’’
On Tuesday, Oleksiak was a silver medallist in the 100 fly in 58.45 just ahead of Rebecca Smith of Red Deer, Alta., in fourth in 58.72. Bronze medals were earned by Ruck and Sanchez in the 100 back and 200-m individual medley.
Kierra Smith was fourth in the 100 breaststroke and Hanna Henderson of Etobicoke, Ont., seventh in the 50 back.
Also on Wednesday, Sanchez was sixth in the 100 free and Yuri Kisil eighth in the men’s 100 free in 49.95.
The third and last stop on the tour is this weekend in Barcelona.